The great character actor Pete Postlethwaite died last week, and this week’s DVD pick honors his finest film work. In the Name of the Father (1993) is based on the true story of Gerry Conlon (Daniel Day-Lewis) of the Guildford Four, wrongly convicted of an IRA bombing that killed four British soldiers and a civilian. The four were coerced into confessions by torture and threats against their families. The real IRA terrorists, captured later for another act, confessed to the crime, but the British government suppressed the evidence of the Guildford Four’s innocence. Gerry Conlon wound up in prison with his father Giuseppe (Postlethwaite), also convicted of an IRA plot as a member of the Maguire Seven – and Postlethwaite’s performance is one of uncommon inner strength.
The film was nominated for seven Oscars and is on my 10 Best Prison Movies.